What is Long Pepper?

Long Pepper is a spice commonly used in Indian, Thai, Cambodian, and Indonesian cooking. It has often been mistaken for black Pepper. But unlike its simple cousin, long Pepper has a flavor that is more like a mix of spices than a single plant. This hints at ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and sweet heat. You can use it to make lentil soup, add flavor to roasted meats, improve a barbecue sauce, and give lightly cooked vegetables a unique spice.

What Is Long Pepper

What is Long Pepper?

Long Pepper, also called pippali and pipli, is a small fruit that grows on a flowering vine with long, cone-shaped flower spikes. It is mostly grown in India and on the Indonesian island of Java. The fruits are about the size of a poppy seed and are used whole or ground up. They are often used instead of black, white, or green Pepper.

Even though long Pepper is used instead of these more common peppers, it tastes more like garam masala because it has hints of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. This spice has a bite that stays with you, which is why it is used in many dishes in India and Southeast Asian countries.

Long Pepper can be used like any other spice, especially black Pepper. It can be added to soups, stirred into noodle bowls or fried rice from Southeast Asia, savory pastries, and more.


Long Pepper grows in India and Indonesia, mostly on the island of Java, but the plants from the two places are a little different. Ayurveda, a holistic health practice used in India for hundreds of years, has been written for long Pepper in its old books. Before, it was used to make food taste better; this ingredient was praised for helping people stay healthy. Even when long Pepper became popular in Greece around the 6th century BCE, this all-around use of the spice stayed the same.

Long Pepper was used in Greek and Roman cooking for a long time, and it also spread to other parts of Europe, where it often competed with round black Pepper. But Europeans stopped caring so much about the small fruit when Spain brought chilies from the Americas and black Pepper from India. Outside of India and Southeast Asia, it’s not a common ingredient anymore, but you can find it online and in specialty spice shops.

What are the Varieties of Long Pepper?

Long Pepper comes in two types: piper longum, which grows in India, and piper retrofactum, which grows in Indonesia and is usually cheaper and easier to find. The two spices look and taste enough alike that they can be used interchangeably. The color makes it easy to tell them apart when they are whole. The Indian long Pepper is dark brown, while the Indonesian long Pepper is red. In India, the long Pepper is called people, a Hindu word. It is called dei-phlei in Cambodia and dee-plee in Thailand.

Long Pepper vs. Grains of Paradise 

Black Pepper can also be replaced with grains of paradise, also called alligator pepper. Grain of paradise is seeds, while long Pepper is a fruit. Grain of paradise comes from Africa, while most long Pepper comes from India. African seeds have a woodsy, citrusy, and herbal flavor, followed by a burst of heat that coats the mouth and then goes away. Indian long peppers, on the other hand, have more warming spices in their taste, but the heat level is the same, and it wears off faster.

What does it Taste Like?

The food closest to the taste of long Pepper is regular black Pepper, which you can find on most dining room tables. It has the same peppery bite but spicier and hints of earthiness and sweetness. There may also be hints of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which makes it more interesting than plain black Pepper. It has a much more complex flavor than black Pepper, a mix of spices like garam masala than just one spice. It has the heat and musk of black Pepper but in a less harsh, more nuanced way. Sweet notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom make it less harsh.

Tips for Cooking with Long Pepper

Long Pepper can be used like any other spice, especially black Pepper. It can be added to soups, stirred into noodle bowls or fried rice from Southeast Asia, put into savory pastries, and more. Using long Pepper in dishes that need a smoother spice should be ground first. However, it can be used whole in stews or curries, which have more texture. Long Pepper can be used the same way as other peppers, one for one, depending on how spicy you want your dish to be. So, the Indian long Pepper isn’t a hot spice like chili peppers. Instead, it has an earthy heat that spreads quickly through the mouth.

Recipes with Long Pepper

Long Pepper can be used instead of black or white in many dishes, especially those with ingredients and cooking methods from India or Southeast Asia. Try it the next time a dish needs a little more spice and flavor depth.

  • Thai Chicken Fried Rice
  • Vindaloo Masala
  • Indonesian Pork Satay

Where to Buy Long Pepper?

Online is the best place to find both wholes and ground long Pepper. This unusual food isn’t sold in most grocery stores, but specialty shops and spice stores may have it. Look at the Indian and Asian markets as well. You can find long Pepper, also called people, usually near the black Pepper, white Pepper, and salts in the spice section.

Whole vs. Ground

The fruits inside the long pepper flower are about the size of poppy seeds. These can be added to stews, spice mixes, grilled meats, and any other dish that calls for a coarse spice. Like its cousin, ground black pepper, long Pepper can be ground up in a pepper mill or crushed with a mortar and pestle. When the ingredient is refined, it works well in sauces, can be used to spice up bread, and makes smoother spice blends.

Spices are often dried to keep them fresh and make their flavor stronger. You can use them whole or grind them up. Grounds are just the whole spice that has been turned into a powder. Whole spices keep their flavor longer than ground spices, but they are easier to cook with because the flavor gets into the food more quickly.

How to Store Long Pepper?

Since long Pepper is usually bought dried, keeping it for months or even years in a cool, dark place in an airtight container is easy. Keep long pepper whole to keep as much of its flavor as possible. If you grind the long Pepper, try to use it up within a couple of months. It won’t go bad, but the spice will lose its bite as time goes on.

Health Benefits of Long Pepper (Pippali)

After getting long pepper nutrition facts, let’s check out some best health benefits of Long Pepper (Pippali) (Pippali). Even Long Pepper is used for different medicinal purposes. This plant’s root is also useful in reducing pain and inflammation.

Long Pepper good for Diabetics Patients

Diabetes is very common when there is too much or too little glucose in the blood. If this isn’t stopped, it can cause many problems in the body, including organ failure, amputation, and even death.

People with diabetes are told that there is no surefire cure for it but that the best way to deal with it is to manage or control it. Ayurvedic medicine has been using Indian long Pepper to treat this disease for a long time.

Long Pepper helps control the amount of sugar in the blood, which makes diabetes much easier to deal with and safer.

Long Pepper Prevents Liver Ailments

A healthy liver means that the whole body is healthy. It is a key part of how your digestive system works and affects how your body makes enzymes and hormones. Liver problems are very common these days because most of us eat a lot of processed foods, which causes many liver problems.

Some parts of long Pepper are known to be good for the liver. It can ensure that the liver is never too toxic and can also stop jaundice from happening.

Long Pepper Benefits for Weight Loss

The idea of losing weight is a big deal worldwide, not just because of beauty standards and self-image. It’s also important for health. More and more people are getting fat because they are always around processed and junk food and are getting used to eating them instead of healthy home-cooked meals.

Indian long Pepper can help you lose weight and keep it off. It removes fatty toxins and reduces body fat, which helps you lose weight. Using Indian long Pepper to lose weight doesn’t hurt your body as diets or weight loss drugs do.

Long Pepper Good for Menstrual Problems

Since the beginning of time, Indian long Pepper has been used to treat problems with menstruation. It can help stop heavy periods and ease the cramps that come with them. It can even help with fatigue and some PMS symptoms.

Women have also used Indian long Pepper in labor to speed up the contractions of the uterus and make the birth happen faster. Many women also eat this spice right after giving birth to help their uterus heal quickly. It is said to be very helpful in these situations.

Long Pepper Improves Skeletal Health

When your bones are strong, your body is strong. Indian long leaves strengthen your whole skeletal system and make your bones healthier. This can help you feel more confident and calm. People with weak bones can break and have other bone problems over time.


Use black, white, or green Pepper instead of long Pepper. These peppers don’t have as strong of a flavor and don’t have as much bite, but they are good if you want to tone down a dish or can’t find long Pepper. Indian long Pepper is used for stomach problems, lung problems, arthritis, problems during menstruation, and many other conditions, but there is no scientific evidence to support these uses.

Indian long Pepper can also help the body absorb other drugs better. Also, like other peppers, long Pepper has chemicals that irritate the skin. People with sensitive skin shouldn’t put it on their skin. Three drugs are known to interact with long Pepper. These are theophylline, propranolol, and phenytoin.